The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 was an event that lasted a year in which religion fueled mass hysteria in a small colony. The trials consisted of accusations of witchcraft against hundreds of people, and for the unfortunate one’s it would mean their death. These trials and the evidence associated with them was all based around the idea of good which was connected to God versus evil where the connection lied with the Devil. The Puritans were a colony of people from England who were escaping the effects of the Glorious Revolution and found themselves in Salem, Massachusetts. They came to America in hopes of starting a new life under the rule of a new church as they believed the church in England was corrupt. They formed a new religion based off Christian and Catholic ideas and viewed themselves as all-knowing. There was a strong belief that everyone needed to follow their way of life in order to live holy and have a stronger connection to God. The Puritans also based their beliefs around the idea that in order to achieve this desirable pure life one must avoid the Devil’s temptations and wickedness. When strange unexplainable events started occurring within their community the Puritans of Salem turned to their religion for an explanation. Women, children, and some men started behaving in a manner that went against their strict beliefs and the only plausible explanation to them was that God had become angry and sent the Devil to punish them. In efforts to repair their relationship with God the Puritans believed that their only chance was to get rid of the Devil’s evil spirits which had seemed to take over. The Devil was believed to have entered the small community and had taken over some of the residents’ souls in the form of a witch. The Puritans were desperate to get back on the path to righteousness that they started the witch trails in order to cleanse the town. They believed what they were doing was morally correct and it was their duty to God to rid of the witches that had possessed their community. Religion was the striving force that influenced the Salem Witch Trials. Everything that happened in the town of Salem was connected to the idea that individuals had made some type of deal with the Devil. A majority of the time the trails focused on women as they were viewed inferior to men and envious of them. In the eyes of the law all evidence of witchcraft presented was based on their religious beliefs and not on physical proof.
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